Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: July Update

Pinch me. A month from today, I will be standing in front of an amazing man who I will proudly call my husband. Time has really flown by and so much has been done this past month to prepare. But first, we recently came back from a vacation out to Denver, Colorado where we spent some quality time with friends. While there we experienced our very first hot air balloon ride as our wedding gift to each other... and the views were spectacular! I wish we had enough room in the basket to take pictures of each other while we were in the air, but we managed to get a few shots before and after we went up...

We also took a scenic drive through the Rocky Mountain National Park, thanks to the recommendation of our jeweler! Again, the mountain views en route to the top were amazing! Overall, our trip to Colorado was fun and relaxing... so much so that we're already looking forward to our next trip. I guess we didn't realize how much we love the mountains and outdoors so we hope to head out west again soon...(much to the encouragement of our friends for us to move there lol!)

Before our Colorado trip, we also had engagement pictures done and here are some of our favorite shots taken by my cousin of BJ Aguado Photography at Independence Grove Forest Preserve...

We also received our Marriage License to make it official, now that we're a month away from the big day!

Some other things I've done include preparing our welcome bags for out of town guests staying at area hotels. These Hawaiian printed bags are filled with goodies including Hawaiian potato chips, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, almond & coconut KIND bars, Fiji bottled water, disposable camera, Advil, Kleenex packs, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer.

I also made some bags for my bridal party, which includes very much the same thing as our welcome bags. The difference is the addition of hair pieces to be worn the day of the wedding and a kimono style robe for the ladies to wear while getting our hair and makeup done, I also have some special gifts included for them too.

Our foyer has been taken over by packages as well. Let's not mention how half of our garage is also full of boxes and gifts from our first bridal shower. And I have a second bridal shower this coming Saturday, hosted by my lovely maid of honor, Melissa of Turning Veganese!

I also recently co-chaired a work event in which I had our pre-wedding picnic DJ come out to do what he does best. Mike Kelly of Memory Makers Entertainment was awesome for our work event and I can only imagine how much more fun he will add to our pre-wedding picnic!

But probably the biggest task in our wedding planning is finding a caterer. I'm so so thankful to have found one who truly captured our vision and executed it flawlessly for our tasting. Pear Tree Catering has won my heart and we're both excited about them as our preferred caterer. 
Since purchasing, renaming and repositioning what is now Celebration Catering in 2001, Mark Sternberg has seen his company grow into one of Chicago’s premier catering operations. 
Following Celebration Catering’s merger with Pear Tree Catering in November 2003, the combined company has seen sales grow over 200%. Mark is very proud that Pear Tree and Celebration Catering recently were nominated for a Jean Banchet Award as one of the top five catering companies in Chicago. 
Prior to purchasing Celebration Catering, Mark had enjoyed a 13-year career with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. He served as Director of Corporate and Travel Industry Sales Worldwide, in addition to serving as Director of Catering at the Five Diamond Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. During his first few years in the hospitality industry, Mark developed, built and ran six restaurants in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. His success in Cleveland led Mark to Hyatt Hotels and then to the Four Seasons.

Mark and his team are amazing and here are pictures of what they did for our tasting, highlighting the menu items that will be offered at our luau reception:

Sushi maki trio - These will be passed after our ceremony as a teaser to the luau reception that awaits...

Stir Fry Station - Guests will have the opportunity to customize their stir fry over steamed jasmine rice or crispy Japanese noodles with an array of vegetables and chicken or beef. I especially love the sauces available - coconut lemongrass and ginger soy...

Tempura Station - Guests will also have tempura cooked to order including jumbo shrimp andvegetables like sweet potato, broccoli florets, bell pepper and onion petals...

Pupu Platter Station - What's a luau without a pupu platter! We'll be offering some vegetable eggrolls (also cooked on site), crispy vegetable potstickers and coconut chicken kabobs...

Kahlua Pig & Side Dishes - Not shown is the Kahlua Pig that Mark and his team will be preparing on site. During the cocktail period after the ceremony, they will make a show of transferring the kahlua pig onto the presentation table that will be covered with fresh banana leaves. Accompanying the kahlua pig will be the following side dishes such as steamed jasmine rice, a Tropical Macaroni Salad and Crispy Asian Salad...

Tropical Fruit Table - To take advantage of the seasonal fruit, we are also offering a table dedicated to tropical fresh fruit including melons, berries, papaya, pineapple, mango, guava...

The above menu items seems like a lot but there will be more for our guests to enjoy! We've also got a Hawaiian/Filipino sweets table, Hawaiian shaved ice truck coming in and a tropical drink bar with our signature mai tai available. And cake too lol. If there's anything we want, it's for all our guests to enjoy our special day with plenty to eat and drink - and I'm hoping our guests won't be disappointed!

Well, I've got a month left of crunch time to finish up some last minute things such as printing programs and other miscellaneous things for the pre-wedding picnic. I also have my final dress fitting tonight so I'm crossing fingers that goes well! Stay tuned a week before the wedding where I will be highlighting wedding details for the week leading up to the big day!


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